Here's how Hollywood is reacting to the sexual child abuse allegations against Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey, the actor who was involved in such classics films as American Beauty, more recently known for his role as Frank Underwood on House of Cards, is the latest to be toppled by the unfolding sexual assault and harassment saga going on in the media and entertainment industries. In a nigh-constant news cycle following which actor, journalist or celebrity has been revealed this week, it seems that dozens of household names are yet to be fully exposed for their past actions.
Kevin Spacey was accused this weekend of sexual harassment by actor Anthony Rapp. Rap alleges that when he was 14 years old, a 26 year old Kevin Spacey "climbed on top of him", and made an advance. Rapp said: “My stomach churns...I still to this day can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of it. It’s just deeply confusing to me.”
Spacey has replied with an apology on Twitter, saying that he does not recall the "drunken" encounter, but that if he did do this, he apologizes. Spacey then followed up with a strange paragraph announcing publicly that he is gay, and has lived "as a gay man", which conflates the sexual harassment of minors with his being gay.
Now, plenty of media and entertainment figures have responded publicly to Spacey's harassment claims and apology.
Columnist Dan Savage, long an advocate of gay rights, said:
A writer on Samantha Bee's Comedy Central show noted the bizarre deflection attempt by Spacey:
A writer and producer who worked with Spacey on House of Cards said this:
Sociologist Eve Ewing wrote:
Comedian Tim Young also noted that Family Guy, years ago, had made a joke about Kevin Spacey keeping a minor in his basement. It appears that this could have been another "open secret" shared among some clandestine portions of Hollywood:
Overall, the reaction appears to be frustration with the fact that Spacey came out as gay in the same breath that he apologized for sexually harassing a minor. For centuries, the notion of gay men being pedophiles has been a harmful myth used to correlate homosexuality to general harassment and unnatural relationships. By explaining away his advances toward a minor by evoking his closeted sexuality, he makes a cynical move that throws LGBTQ people under the bus.
In fact, it's the very same argument that Milo Yiannopoulos made earlier this year, which essentially ended his brief career as a half-accepted pundit. Milo said that older gay men ofter have relationships with younger gay men, usually while closeted or 'experimenting' with their sexuality. Milo was condemned for promoting sex with minors, and worse, for aligning sex with minors with homosexuality.
Now, Kevin Spacey has done exactly what Milo described: as an adult, he come onto a minor, and like Milo, he tried to make it a question of sexuality, instead of a very clear difference from sexuality into criminality.
Being gay cannot be used as a shield. Being gay has nothing to do with being attracted to minors.